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The Slaughtered Lamb Bookstore and Bar by Seana Kelly

Everyone needs a good book and a stiff drink, be they vampire, wicche, demon, or fae.  Sam’s a bartender and book nerd.  Why does someone want to kill her?

Title:  The Slaughtered Lamb Bookstore and Bar
Author:  Seana Kelly
Series:  Sam Quinn #1
Publish Date: October 13, 2020
Source: Netgalley

Publisher’s Description: Welcome to The Slaughtered Lamb Bookstore and Bar. I’m Sam Quinn, the werewolf book nerd in charge. I run my business by one simple rule: Everyone needs a good book and a stiff drink, be they vampire, wicche, demon, or fae. No wolves, though. Ever. I have my reasons.

I serve the supernatural community of San Francisco. We’ve been having some problems lately. Okay, I’m the one with the problems. The broken body of a female werewolf washed up on my doorstep. What makes sweat pool at the base of my spine, though, is realizing the scars she bears are identical to the ones I conceal. After hiding for years, I’ve been found.

A protection I’ve been relying on is gone. While my wolf traits are strengthening steadily, the loss also left my mind vulnerable to attack. Someone is ensnaring me in horrifying visions intended to kill. Clive, the sexy vampire Master of the City, has figured out how to pull me out, designating himself by personal bodyguard. He’s grumpy about it, but that kiss is telling a different story. A change is taking place. It has to. The bookish bartender must become the fledgling badass.

I’m a survivor. I’ll fight fang and claw to protect myself and the ones I love. And let’s face it, they have it coming.

 

Nervous Nellie’s nervousness necessitates knowledge of the novel. In other words …SPOILERS. *BEWARE*


Nervous Nellie says…

I wasn’t sure, at first, about this book.  The title had me wondering.  That didn’t stop me though, as I’ve been in many supernatural bars in my lifetime (through books), and I knew this would have to be interesting.

Interesting it was.  And violent.  Sam is knocked down, knocked around, and literally beaten not just once, but several times through this story.  All because someone wants to kill her.  She has no idea who she pissed off or why they could possibly be pissed off as she has kept her head down and out of sight for most of her life.  She also doesn’t know why the Master Vampire of the city stops in once a month for a drink at her bar.

The story is a tale of survival.  Getting beaten down and abandoned but still pulling herself up to do what she has to.  There is snark woven in and through this book as Sam has a sassy personality.  I had a tough time following along once or twice throughout the book, but Sam gets these horrible visions.  She may think it’s really happening, but it’s only happening in her mind.  I want to tell you that only because I got confused.

Clive Fitzwilliam.  Old vampire.  Master of the city.  Head of the Nocturne for San Francisco.  Rich and powerful and a force to be reckoned with.  Yep, he falls for the 24 year old werewolf.

Their combination has been done in other books, but I still like it.  Mostly, their relationship isn’t the forefront of the book.  It’s the mystery of who wants Sam wiped off the face of the Earth.  Whether it be bravery or stupidity, Sam takes things into her own hands and, again, does what she has to do to survive.

I like rooting for the underdog and Sam really got the party started.  I liked this book and I can hardly wait for the next book to be released.

I give it 4 stars.

 

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Morrigan’s Blood by Laura Bickle

Garnet has the blood of the legendary Morrigan – and legions of vampires and witches will go to war to possess that power.

Title:  Morrigan’s Blood
Author: Laura Bickle
Series: Crow’s Curse #1
Release date: September 25, 2020
Description: Garnet has the blood of the legendary Morrigan – and legions of vampires and witches will go to war to possess that power.

As a trauma surgeon, Garnet Conners has seen more than her fair share of blood. But when one of her patients walks off the operating table and disappears into the night, she finds herself caught in a war between legions of vampires and witches in her city.

Garnet has dreamed of bloody battlefields for years – and a mysterious lover who controls a kingdom. In her waking life, Garnet is shocked to meet that man in a club. Merrel knows her from another life, a life in which she was the legendary Morrigan, goddess of death and war.

Garnet rejects the notion of magical incarnations altogether. But she falls in with Sorin, a handsome warlock who’s determined to protect the former bootlegger city of Riverpointe from a secret society of vampires. Haunted by crows and faced with undeniable proof of magic, Garnet scrambles to protect her career and loved ones from magical violence.

Abducted by vampires who seek to turn her into a vampire against her will, can Garnet seize the power of the legendary Morrigan to forge her own path in her embattled city? Or will she be forced to serve as a fearsome weapon in a deadly nocturnal war?

 

Nervous Nellie’s nervousness necessitates knowledge of the novel. In other words …SPOILERS. *BEWARE*


Nervous Nellie says…

Wow!  This is going to be a primo series.  This book has a lot of start up – world developing stuff going on, however, it’s not boring stuff.  Author Bickle does an excellent job of developing the character that is Garnet Connors.  She’s a normal everyday trauma surgeon (not that that is normal or everyday) minding her own business.  She’s noticed crows her whole life and many of them have given her gifts.  Not valuable gifts, just things that are shiny that the crows would like.

Then BAM!!!  Garnet enters the world of the supernatural.  Without warning, some scary stuff goes down.  Attention gets brought unto her and now she’s noticed.  Dang!

Garnet is as bewildered as any of us would be when greeted with this weird stuff.  The only thing different is that she gets clues.  She has dreams.

To be honest, I really thought I was super smart and had it all figured out about where the story was going.  By the end, I closed the book (or shut my kindle off – because, well, closing a book is more final, ya know?) with a “WHOA!”  I did not see that coming.

This did have a mild cliffhanger, but I wasn’t overly bothered by it so it wasn’t dramatic.  It did allude to sex, there was swearing, there was violent death.  It was incredible!  Morrigan’s Bite comes out October 23, 2020.  I am stoked!  I give Morrigan’s Blood a 5.

Oh, and a side note to the author – THANKS FOR THE CAMEO OF SPARKY!!  Love him!!

 

 

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Shadows in Death by J.D. Robb

Lt. Eve Dallas is about to walk into the shadows of her husband’s dangerous past.

Title: Shadows in Death
Author:  J.D. Robb
Series:  In Death #51
Publish Date:  September 8, 2020
Source:  Purchased by reviewer

Publisher’s Description:  Lt. Eve Dallas is about to walk into the shadows of her husband’s dangerous past.

As it often did since he’d married a cop, murder interrupted more pleasant activities. Then again, Roarke supposed, the woman lying in a pool of her own blood a few steps inside the arch in Washington Square Park had a heftier complaint.

When a night out at the theatre is interrupted by the murder of a young woman in Washington Square Park, it seems like an ordinary case for Detective Eve Dallas and her team. But when Roarke spots a shadow from his past in the crowd, Eve realizes that this case is far from business as usual.

Eve has two complex cases on her hands – the shocking murder of this wealthy young mother and tracking down the shadow before he can strike again, this time much closer to home. Eve is well used to being the hunter, but how will she cope when the tables are turned? As Eve and the team follow leads to Roarke’s hometown in Ireland, the race is on to stop the shadow making his next move . . .

Nervous Nellie’s nervousness necessitates knowledge of the novel. In other words …SPOILERS. *BEWARE*


Nervous Nellie says…

All I can say about Lorkin Cobb is “What an effing idiot.”  He thinks he’s gonna take Roarke down?  Kill Dallas?  Dude, you got some delusions of grandeur.  Obviously, he has no idea who he’s messing with.

This was a story that did have a bit more gooey stuff between Roarke and Dallas (before the ultimate end) and it felt a little over the top.    Other than that, it was golden.  The initial case was a quick solver and I was gratified at how Eve got the defendant to cry.  The arrogant nasty sociopathic jerk cried.  That case didn’t exactly end right with that arrest.  I got to go with the team on a fast paced, no holds barred manhunt of the bought and paid for assassin.  I got to learn more about Roarke’s background.  I got a good look at how Sommerset fathers Roarke (which was really awesome) and how cool it is to watch a team work together.  Everyone.  All of Eve’s people wanted in on catching this moron.  They, every last one of them, are frosty to the ult.  And the ending?!?  It was a spectacular chase.  I loved every minute of it.  I can tell you I always get satisfaction at the end of these books.  Eve and Delia do their “in the box” work and nail the sleazy, evil monster to the wall.  It’s such a feeling to see the good guys win.  This ending was no slouch either.  It may be the best dramatic endings so far.  No, no cliffhanger, just an awesome “nail that bastard” ending.  I also loved, to the point of “nanner, nanner” NYPSD’s success in locating Cobb when InterPol hadn’t been able to in 20 years.  It was marvelous.

My favorite alternate character in this book was the shopkeeper at the men’s store that Cobb shopped at.  He was an absolute treasure.  He was so excited to be a part of a police investigation that I just had to smile.  I loved him.  Watch for him when you read/listen to this book.

As always, these books get a 5 star.

Our reviews in this series in no particular order…

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Fantasy in Death by J.D. Robb

Killed inside a locked room.  How?  Who?  It’s impossible they said, until they met Eve Dallas.

Title: Fantasy in Death
Author:  J.D. Robb
Series:  In Death #30
Publish Date:  January 6, 2010
Source:  Purchased by reviewer

Publisher’s Description: Bart Minnock, founder of the computer gaming giant U-Play, is found in his locked private playroom, in a pool of blood, his head separated from his body. Despite his violent end, Eve can’t find anyone—girlfriend and business partners included—who seemed to have a problem with the enthusiastic, high-spirited millionaire.

Of course gaming, like any business, has its fierce rivalries and dirty tricks—as Eve’s husband, Roarke, one of U-Play’s competitors, knows well. But Minnock was not naïve, and he knew how to fight back in the real world as well as the virtual one.

Eve and her team are about to enter the next level of police work, in a world where fantasy is the ultimate seduction—and the price of defeat is death…

Nervous Nellie’s nervousness necessitates knowledge of the novel. In other words …SPOILERS. *BEWARE*


Nervous Nellie says…

This was a difficult mystery to solve.  I don’t think anyone but Eve Dallas could have solved it.   Anyone else investigating this locked room death mystery would have put it on the cold case pile nearly right away.

These brainiac gamers built their little company with a lot of sweat and encouragement from Roarke.  They were all super smart and incredibly tuned in to the gamer world.  They were set to be on top.  They weren’t there yet, but they were getting there.  Then one is killed. It puts all the others in a tailspin.

The de facto leader, Bart Minnock, has got the world by the tail.  He is the driving force behind U-play and he was the one that approached Roarke and got him to help start the business.  He was liked and incredibly smart.  He was really the super brain behind the whole company.  Bart went home one day to test play U-play’s new game in development.  The next morning he was found dead.

Eve, of course, has a nose for murder and figures out not just who and why, but how.  How’d she figure it out?  By digging.  And pushing.  And researching.  Relentless, that’s her middle name.  I am so sure that no one else could have figured it out.  Even the E-geeks said it was impossible.

On the personal front, Nadine publishes The Icove Agenda.  The book that blows the publishing scene to smithereens.  Everyone is there.  Mavis, Trina, Leonardo, Nadine.  It was great to see how things were going with the fam.  Good times.

As always, these books get a 5 star.

Our reviews in this series in no particular order…

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Kindred in Death by J.D. Robb

She was just an instrument. A weapon. He wanted it to be in that house, inside the house where the cop believed his little girl would always be safe.

Title:  Kindred in Death
Author:  J.D. Robb
Series:  In Death #29
Publish Date:  January 6, 2010
Source:  Purchased by reviewer

Publisher’s Description:  She was just an instrument. A weapon. He wanted it to be in that house, inside the house where the cop believed his little girl would always be safe.

A phone call from up high interrupts Eve’s plans to have a lazy day with her roguish husband Roarke: The teenage daughter of Captain Jonah McMasters, head of the NYPD drug squad, has been found raped and strangled.

A terrifying video of Deena, bloody and beaten beyond recognition, suggests a link to a criminal in her father’s past, but Eve is getting nowhere – until another murder, and another video, reveals the killer’s deadly intent: merciless retribution in the cruellest way possible.

Eve and her team must race against the clock to identify the next victim of a killer who will stop at nothing . . .

Nervous Nellie’s nervousness necessitates knowledge of the novel. In other words …SPOILERS. *BEWARE*


Nervous Nellie says…

Wow.  I’ve met some sick villains in books before, but this guy is baaad!  Again the brilliance of Eve Dallas’ brain solves a case that for anyone else would be a cold case.

Eve lost two victims but saved five.  I was sad for the victims and their families.  As I read the book, the story and it’s trials became real feeling.  I felt for the McMasters family and the poor man that was Carlene’s groom to be.  I’m not sure I ever have put it into words, but I also love how supportive of his time and money Roarke is.  He cherishes his wife and creates an “Awwwww” moment.

Eve is brilliant in her thinking, but in this book she bounces from the wrong path to the right path just by hearing a comment from a friend and colleague.  Peabody does a lot of work on her end – the same as what Dallas would have to do if she were working alone.  Those two make great partners and offset each other remarkably.

Those insights are not new ones, but I don’t think I’ve actually wrote them in a review before.  The story is great, as always, but the cohesiveness of the team and the characters with each other make for an excellent read.  That goes for every Eve and Roarke book, but as I’m listening from beginning of the series to the end, it’s even more evident.

The narrator is one of the best you can get.  Susan Erickson rates right up there with Khristine Hvam who narrates the books for Faith Hunter.  Seriously, if you like audiobooks and police procedurals this series is a really good one.  There is some sex, but it’s not constant and there is frippery like friends having weddings and babies or just getting together that makes me feel like family when I read it.

As always, these books get a 5 star.

Our reviews in this series in no particular order…

 

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